M always knows the right gift to get me for special occasions. This year she had bought a day course in foraging with a gentleman called Richard Prideaux at Rhewl in North Wales. It was an excellent choice. On first meeting Richard he oozed confidence in his information – it was information borne of of a passion which was both studied and experienced. Our small group soon began a journey into the beautiful Spring countryside where edible wonders awaited.
Here is a list of all the different things we discovered we could eat when walking no more than a couple of miles of country track:-
- Young Beech and Hawthorn leaves
- Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage
- Dock leaves and Nettle tips
- Wild Garlic and Hedge Garlic
- Wood Sorrel – tasty, and safe in small quantities
- Digging for Pig Nuts
- Oakmoss lichen
We all had enormous fun rooting around, asking questions, and trying out so many of the plants that we walk past without thinking about. Somehow we missed the worst of the rain, and the sun came out in strength for the walk across the open land where we were all surprised by the discovery of a huge puffball toadstool.
As with every such foraging venture, there were the things to stay away from – Dog Mercury, for example.
It was a really informative day with a bunch of lovely people. I have to say that I got “stick envy” over Richard’s stout cherry staff. How I miss my ashen staff. I’ll have to get carving my new oak staff to replace it, and then I too can go wading through the countryside munching with purpose on the freebies all around us.
Here’s a link to Richard’s course site for those who are interested in foraging.